As photographers, it is our job to ensure that your photos are authentic, full of emotion, AND make you look good!! (*For this blog post, I am specifically talking about portrait-type photos)! I definitely understand why nearly every bride we talk with tells us that she hates posed photos, but loves candid/natural photos, + then proceeds to tell us that is why she loves our photos!! Because they feel natural, authentic, joyful, + REAL. And while I like to think the same things about our photos, a little secret is that we pose all of our clients!! It’s true! Somewhere along the line, the idea of “posing” received a bad rep, + I’m going to blame the majority of it on the late ‘90s awkward prom photos ; )
For us, posing is actually a really good thing, because it allows us to get beautiful photos of you that most importantly look natural + showcase emotion, however also flatter your body types + overall look as a couple. Sometimes, how we naturally stand or interact with one another isn’t our best “side”—let me give you an example. Ever since I can remember, my dad has been telling me, “Maison, stand up straight + don’t turn your feet out like a duck!” While standing this way is most comfortable for me (I grew up dancing + this stance is a slight moderation of what they call ‘first position’ in dance), it simply isn’t flattering! I loosen up my pelvis + slump forward + eww, just typing it out makes me cringe! Not pretty!
If I were my own client, I would tell myself to tighten my core, relax my shoulders, turn my hips one direction + my torso the other direction. I would then make a joke that would cause myself to relax + laugh out loud, creating a “pose” that looks 100% natural + joyuful!! I can guarantee you I would like this picture of myself a LOT better than I would like a picture of myself in my “natural” stance.
We do this SAME thing for our clients. We give them a foundation to work off of–a pose in which both of their bodies are positioned in a flattering way, yet one that is still natural + creates photos that are true to who they area! In this foundational pose, we allow our clients to relax + interact by talking to them, making jokes, + giving them cues about where to look + what to do!! As our clients gain our trust + feel more + more comfortable around us (another key to great photos!), they interact with one another naturally which produces great emotion–but that foundational pose still keeps their bodies looking amazing!!
Additionally, while many people have a misconception of what posing is, we have found that when the time comes for them to be in front of the camera, people crave direction! Those initial 15 minutes are ones in which they feel nervous + awkward, + they want to be told EXACTLY what to do!! Then, again, as they warm up + realize that getting their picture taken isn’t so bad after all, the given poses are still a great foundation for their photos, but something that they can tweak + move around in to make their own!!
I’m going to dissect the following images from our most recent 2015 engagement sessions to help better share our process of posing!
The images above are from the very first pose we gave Ben + Amy during their winter engagement session in January!! By having them turn into one another while laughing + a kiss on the forehead, the energy between the two is connected + very natural!!
Above + below, Chad + Nicole are being posed “chest to chest” while squeezing each other tight + mostly likely laughing at one of Caleb’s witty jokes ; )
Below, Becca added her own twist to their foundational pose by going up on her tip-toes for a kiss with Alex. I LOVE it!!
Here, I posed Jordan so that he was a step in front of Kat as if he was leading her somewhere. Then, I told Kat to smile + think about her + Jordan’s future life together while looking down at her cheekbones!
Below, again, directing Kaity to look down at her cheek bones while walking s-l-o-w-l-y next to Jordan–Jordan was told to look over + admire his beautiful fiancé! In the right image, I even “posed” their hands to get this beautiful + delicate shot of Kaity’s ring : )
Below, Brian + Emily are hanging out in a local coffee shop! While the feel of this image is definitely more photojournalistic, I still told Emily to cross her ankles + Brian to have at least two points of connection with Emily while interacting (notice their outer legs touching + his hand on her left leg).
I briefly mentioned it above, but even walking is a pose! Again with Brian + Emily, I am having him “escort” her of sorts while slowly walking towards me, laughing + talking to each other while looking just past my left shoulder!!
Yone + Hannah–ahh, those smiles!! Anyway, here I had Yone put his hand in his pocket + stand tall to create a masculine demeanor while smiling + connecting on the forehead with his future bride! Hanna was told to pull herself in close to Yone (to keep warm!!) + both are looking just past my right shoulder!
In the above + below images, we have a pose that looks very casual, however is not something either of these couples would probably do naturally: the guy is putting his arm around his lady, pulling her in close to him as they walk while she is holding his hand! It’s a pose!! 😛 Do you see where this is going!? : )
Brent with his hand free hand in his pocket (always a good idea to have a clean look for the guys!), chest to chest, noses barely touching while smiling at each other’s teeth!!
Below, in the left-hand image, Zack + Emily look super relaxed with a touch of posing! Hehe! Zach has his hand in his pocket while looking past my left should + a stance that alludes to protecting Emily, while she is smiling at me + gently grabbing the bottom of her shirt : )
Finally, just for fun, a photo to show that even an “obvious” pose can still be SUPER cute!!
I hope this post has convinced you that posing isn’t a bad thing, but rather helps us get photos that are both full of emotion as well as flattering to all body types!! Posing does NOT equal stiff and/or awkward!! In our opinion, it’s just the opposite : )